Age Pensioner Concession Card
This card is issued annually to Centrelink and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) pensioners and normally entitles them to the following concessions:
Electricity (conditions apply), council, water and sewage rates, prescription lenses and frames, River Murray Levy, Residential Parks Scheme, Legal Advice and Emergency Services Levy - contact the State Government Concessions Hotline, tel. 1800 307 758 (free call) for application forms or for further contact details.
Prescriptions – subsidised medicines listed in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Present your card when purchasing medicines at a pharmacy.
Public transport fares - 50% reduction when purchasing a ticket (present Card).
Pension Supplement- is automatically paid to pensioners and other eligible income support recipients with their regular fortnightly payment to assist with the cost of daily household and living expenses. The supplement combines previous pension add-ons including the GST Supplement, Telephone Allowance, Utilities Allowance and Pharmaceutical Allowance. Centrelink, tel. 13 2300 or DVA, tel. 13 3254, 1800 555 254 (Free call country callers).
Dental treatment - available at various community dental service sites and the Adelaide Dental Hospital, tel. 8222 8222 - co-payments apply.
Medicare Safety Net – once a person/couple‘s out-of-pocket medical expenses for out-of-hospital services reach a set figure ($598.80 in 2012) in a calendar year, the Australian Government will pay 80% of any additional costs for the remainder of the year. Contact Medicare, tel. 13 2011.
Hearing tests, aids and batteries - Office of Hearing Services, tel. 1800 500 726 (free call), Telephone typewriter (TTY): 1800 500 496.
Ambulance cover - 37% discount. Tel. SA Ambulance Service, tel. 1300 136 272 (local call cost).
Driver’s licence, motor registration fees - various concessions, apply at your local Service SA office, tel. 13 10 84.
Rail tickets – low-cost travel ('free' ticket but a fuel surcharge of $12 per trip applies) via two one-way tickets to stations as far as Pt Augusta/Broken Hill/Bordertown. Tickets mailed annually to all card holders with their Concession Card renewal. Other discounts may also apply. Contact Great Southern Railway, tel. 13 2147.
Dog registration - contact your local council
Mail redirection - 50% concession, apply at your local Australia Post office
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
Available to non-pensioners of pension age with an annual adjusted* taxable income of less than $50,000 (single), $80,000 (couple combined) or $100,000 (couple combined but separated by illness). Add $639.60 for each dependent child.
'Adjusted taxable income' is your taxable income plus total net investment losses (the sum of net losses from rental property income plus net losses from financial investment income), foreign income (income from overseas on which you do not pay Australian income tax), employer provided benefits over $1,000 and reportable superannuation contributions (voluntary contributions and personal deductible contributions where the latter can be claimed as a tax deduction on a personal income tax return).
It entitles holders to:
electricity concessions (conditions apply)
pharmaceutical concessions (PBS)
a lower Medicare Safety Net (at the same threshold level as Age Pensioners - refer above)
reduced fares (but not free tickets) on Great Southern Railway
GPs may bulk-bill cardholders as they receive financial incentives to do so from the Commonwealth Government
Refer to the Age Pensioner Concession Card section above for further information and contact details.
Also the Seniors Supplement is $837.20 a year for single cardholders and $631.80 a year for a cardholder who is partnered. The payment is non-taxable, indexed and is paid quarterly automatically to a nominated account.
For further information, contact Centrelink tel. 13 2300 or for veterans Dept of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), tel. 13 3254, 1800 555 254 (free call country callers)
Veteran entitlement cards
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides eligible veterans with one of a number of ‘cards’ (Gold, White or Orange) entitling them to a range of free health services and concessions for accepted disabilities and other medical conditions. Related travel expenses may also be included. Depending upon the level of Disability Pension paid, some state government concessions may also apply. Contact DVA, tel. 13 3254, 1800 555 254 (free call country numbers).
Other Centrelink or DVA payments
Rent assistance - May be paid to Centrelink clients who rent privately and pay rent above an amount based on their individual family circumstances. Not paid to people in public housing as their rent is already subsidised. For further information contact Centrelink or DVA.
Pharmaceutical Allowance - This is included in the total pension to help purchase prescription medicines available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). When 60 scripts have been purchased in a calendar year, PBS items are free for the rest of the year. For further information contact Centrelink or DVA.
Bereavement Payments (Pensioners and Carers) - When one member of a pensioner couple dies, the surviving partner may receive a bereavement payment paid as a lump sum or by instalment. Carer payments may continue to be paid for up to seven pay periods after the death of the person in care. For further information contact Centrelink or DVA.
Bereavement Allowance - Assists the surviving member of a couple who was not receiving income support before bereavement. The payment is subject to an income and assets test and generally payable from the date of the death of the partner for a maximum of 14 weeks. For further information contact Centrelink.
Carer Payment - For carers who are unable to support themselves in the workforce because they provide full-time care for a person with a disability in that person’s home. Carer does not need to live with the person for whom they care. Subject to an income and assets test. For further information contact Centrelink.
Carer Allowance - Available to parents or carers who provide personal daily care for adults or children with a disability or severe medical condition. Free of an income or assets test; can be paid in addition to other payments such as the Carer Payment or Age Pension. For further information contact Centrelink.
Personal Alert Systems Rebate Scheme
This South Australian government program helps frail older South Australians at risk of falls or medical emergencies to obtain a personal alert system.
There are specific age related, clinical, social and functional criteria that applicants have to meet to be eligible for the rebate. The rebate is available to people who meet all the criteria and are 75 or older (65 years for Aboriginal people).
Contact Seniors Information Service on 8168 8776 or the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (formerly Department for Families and Communities ) on 1300 700 169, www.sa.gov.au/Seniors for further details.
State Seniors Card
For permanent residents of South Australia aged 60 years and over who are not working more than 20 hours per week in paid employment.
Card holders are entitled to a range of discounts provided by commercial and retail businesses. Also 50% concession on public transport with, from 1/7/09, free travel on weekdays 9.01am - 3pm, all day on weekends and public holidays.
25% off all Great Southern Rail fares, tel. 1800 888 417 (freecall)
Concessions on council rates and the Emergency Services Levy may be available (note that conditions apply). Part deferment of rates until property sold (charges apply).
Cards now are recognised by all interstate urban public transport services and possibly by other participating businesses interstate.
Contact the Seniors Card Unit, tel. 1800 819 961 (free call) or apply online: www.seniorscard.com.au
BreastScreen SA offers free mammograms (breast x-rays) to all women aged 40 and over. For women aged 40-49 testing is possible but the results are less reliable whilst for women aged 50-69, testing is recommended every two years or annually if there is a strong family history of breast symptoms. Women aged over 69 can elect to have testing done every two years. BreastScreen SA, tel. 13 20 50. www.breastscreensa.org.au
State Government concessions – information regarding both seniors and non-seniors concessions is available from the Concessions Hotline, tel. 1800 307 758 (freecall) or www.sa.gov.au/concessions
Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS) - people who live more than 100 km from the nearest medical specialist may receive partial reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs. Tel. 1800 188 115 (freecall) or www.countryhealthsa.sa.gov.au
Passports - for Australians aged over 75, a Senior's Passport valid for five years at 50% of the cost of a normal 10-year passport is available. Contact any Australia Post office.
Funeral Assistance Program - assists immediate adult relatives of a deceased person who are genuinely unable to pay for the funeral if the person’s estate will not cover the cost. Payment is made directly to the funeral director. Contact Families SA, tel. 1800 003 305 (local call cost)
Entertainment - many clubs, cinemas, theatres and state-funded facilities such as museums offer concessions to seniors. Proof of age may be required.